Monday, November 9, 2009

Something to be Said for Stability


I have been meeting all sorts of new folk while going to University here in the big city. Milwaukee hosts all sorts of volunteers through religious communities. One of whom, I've been getting to know better through my own volunteer work and here is what I simply don't get...the volunteers' mobility. These past two years he has been here working with the Franciscan Friars, before that he was finishing college, before that it was seminary, and next year it might be something else. Other volunteers I've met have followed a similar pattern of mobility--moving from one need to the next.

I like our Stability. The more I listened to the stories of outreach and subsequent movement, the more I thought about why we "stay put". We take the time to establish long relationships not only within the Monastery but also among the cities and towns of which we become a part. So that unlike the mobile volunteers, we get to know more than the needs or wants within an area; we discover the blessings and gifts of the people as well. The commitment of time to the place allows me time to discover more clearly the relationship of service between me, my community, and the people to whom and with whom we minister.

The time it takes to put down roots is more than a few years here or there. Our commitment of stability has kept me in place at times when my uncertainties where telling me to pull up the stakes and move...but by waiting the uncertainties through, there was a lot to be learned. I know this is quite reflective, but I've been meeting more transitional volunteers, mobile Franciscans, and just people in general trying to get from here to there without much time on the ground in between. So when Fr. Jesuit started talking about the feast of the Dedication of Lateran Basilica today and the permanence of the building as a reflection of the permanence of commitment, it kicked my deep thoughts into high gear.


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